A distant shot of the orchestra on stage from the back of a grand concert hall

The Cleveland Orchestra


The Cleveland Orchestra, now in its second century, remains one of the world’s most sought-after musical ensembles. Thanks to the virtuosity of its players, its sonic elegance and diversity of colours, as well as its perfect ensemble playing, The New York Times has declared it “the best in America”, “practically perfect”, and “one of the best in the country (if not the world)”.

Founded by Adella Prentiss Hughes, the orchestra played its first concert in December 1918. By the middle of last century, thanks to decades of growth and long-term support, it became one of the most renowned orchestras in the world. In the last decade, growing numbers of young people have been attending concerts, bringing new publicity to the legendary sound and exciting programming of The Cleveland Orchestra.

The orchestra has recently launched several daring digital projects, including Internet broadcasts of the concert series entitled In Focus, the podcast On a Personal Note, and its own recording label.

The 2023/24 season is Franz Welser-Möst’s twenty second year as music director. During this time, the ensemble has won exceptional acclaim around the world, thanks to which it became the first American orchestra to serve as orchestra-in-residence for a series of concerts at Vienna’s Musikverein.

The orchestra has also received recognition for its productions of various opera works most recently including Verdi’s Otello (2022), Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos (2019), Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande (May 2017), Bartók’s Miraculous Mandarin and Bluebeard’s Castle (April 2016), and Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen (2014 and 2017).

Since 1918, there have been seven different music directors at the orchestra’s helm—Nikolay Sokolov, Artur Rodziński, Erich Leinsdorf, George Szell, Lorin Maazel, Christoph von Dohnányi, and Franz Welser-Möst—who have led the orchestra and shaped its technical quality and sound.

Thanks to concerts at home, tours abroad, broadcasts, and a catalogue of acclaimed recordings, The Cleveland Orchestra is today attracting an ever-growing number of listeners around the world.


  • Sep 2022

    The Cleveland Orchestra Franz Welser-Möst (conductor) PROGRAMMES: RIHM Verwandlung III, RIHM Verwandlung II, SCHUBERT Symphony in C major (“The Great”) STRAUSS Macbeth, STRAUSS Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, STRAUSS Suite from Der Rosenkavalier BRUCKNER Symphony no.9 in D Minor Berlin, Philharmonie | Dresden, Kulturpalast | Amsterdam, Concertgebouw | Prague, Rudolfinum

  • Mar 2019 - Apr 2019

    The Cleveland Orchestra Franz Welser-Möst (conductor) Daniil Trifonov (piano) PROGRAMMES: BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 5 'Emperor', STRAUSS Ein Heldenleben PROKOFIEV Symphony No. 3, TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 5 National Theatre and Concert Hall, Taipei | Cultural Centre, Macau | Shenzhen Concert Hall, Shenzen | Shanghai Symphony Hall, Shanghai | Poly Grand Theatre, Nanjing | Qintai Concert Hall, Wuhan | National Centre for Performing Arts Beijing